The Greek word for the soul is Psyche (pronounced “Sigh-key”). In ancient Greece, the soul was personified as a butterfly and the word Psyche can be literally interpreted as “spirit, breath, life or animating force”. The Psyche is the element within a living being that gives them life and personality and continues “to breathe” even after leaving the body.

I chose this name and butterfly image because when you and I work together to create a piece of cremation jewelry, we’re really giving the memory of your loved one’s Psyche a physical manifestation in the world. We’re creating a beautiful piece of art with their physical cremains that enhances their continuing felt presence in your life.

 

 

The Psyche is the element within a living being that gives them life and personality and continues “to breathe” even after leaving the body.

 

 

Here’s what mythologist Thomas Bulfinch says about Psyche:

“The Greek name for a butterfly is Psyche, and the same word means the soul. There is no illustration of the immortality of the soul so striking and beautiful as the butterfly, bursting on brilliant wings from the tomb in which it has lain, after a dull, grovelling, caterpillar existence, to flutter in the blaze of day and feed on the most fragrant and delicate productions of the spring. Psyche, then, is the human soul, which is purified by sufferings and misfortunes, and is thus prepared for the enjoyment of true and pure happiness.”

Bulfinch’s Greek and Roman Mythology: The Age of Fable p. 71

 
 

The Soul Crossing the Styx, Edward Calvert (1844-1883)

If like me you’re drawn to explore this mythology and symbolism further, I’ve compiled a short list of resources you might find interesting:

Images of Psyche with butterfly wings

Moth and Butterfly in Myth and Folklore

Butterflies: A Soul Connection

The story of Psyche and Eros

Psyche or the Trials of The Soul

The Myth of Psyche